a short story about Sangria (aged 5) and her father Inferno, to counter the "abusive father" trend and show an important part of Sangria's childhood as well as a side of Inferno not many get to see.. this story is dedicated to my RL father, who passed away some time ago and taught me to be strong in the face of cruelty and that humanity can win out against evil, if my stories can show at least one person the same hope he inspired in me my work will be done.
The scene began in a large garden filled with exotic flowers and trees, a young winged girl danced along the path as a tall figure followed behind, folding his wings over himself like a cape.
The tall figure moved with the grace of a monarch yet had a slight dark aura, clearly a warrior who had seen more than his fair share of horrors - for now however the mighty Pendragon simply watched as his daughter danced along the path and afforded a small smile that came from a father's pride.
"Daddy! Look!" the little girl exclaimed, stopping her dance as she reached over excitedly to a rose - only to recoil as she caught her fingers on a thorn, beginning to cry.
"Sangria.." the tall figure said, spreading his wings and kneeling down - the girl instinctively rushing over as she held her fingers up, her father's wings forming a shield around her as she wept some more.
"Ow! Daddy!" Sangria whined, only to go quiet as the tall figure lifted her up into his arms and cradled her - the girl sniffing a few more times before she hugged into her father, safe and secure.
"Shh, it's alright.. don't cry.. thorns hurt but they can do little harm.. you'll be fine.." the tall figure said in a gentle voice, keeping Sangria in his arms as he folded his wings back and walked down the path once more.
"..I just wanted to show you the pretty flower.." Sangria said.
"Indeed, it was a pretty flower - yet I have something to show you too.." the tall figure smiled.
Sangria gave her father a questioning look, the tall figure stopping to put the girl on his shoulders - Sangria spread her tiny wings out without thinking as she held on, as if ready to fly.
Sure of his daughter's safety the tall figure moved slowly to a large tree in the middle of the garden and showed Sangria a carving in the tree in the shape of two hands - one feminine and the other clearly male.
"Your mother and I came here often - you see her hand?" the tall figure said, kneeling down a little as Sangria examined the carvings.
"Yes! Yes daddy! I can see it!" Sangria replied.
The tall figure smiles some more as he gently takes Sangria off his shoulders and lets her near the tree, the little girl putting her hand over the carving of her mother's own hand - her eyes wide with curiosity.
"You're still bigger than mother.. or me.." Sangria noted.
"Indeed I am.." the tall figure chuckled a little "..though I am not as big as your uncle Equis..".
"Why does uncle Equis never visit?" Sangria asked.
The tall figure goes silent for a moment, his smile fading ever so slightly - he proceeds to shake his head and replies "..it isn't easy being King, Sangria.. he has to protect his people, sometimes that means he forgets things.. I'm sure he will visit soon..".
Sangria thinks on this for a moment, then replied "..but you is a King too, daddy.. don't you have to protect people too?"
The tall figure smiles once more and nods, "..I am a King, yes.. and I do protect people - everyday.. yet I am also a father, thus I must protect you foremost.. my daughter..".
"You protect me?" Sangria asks, looking to her father once more with questioning eyes.
"Yes.." the tall figure replies.
"So.. fathers protect their daughters?" Sangria asks, continuing to look to her father.
"Fathers protect their daughters and their sons.." the tall figure replies again.
"But don't you get scared? what if a big monster comes and tried to gobble me up? what if the mean girl comes back?" Sangria asks.
"Sangria.. of course I get scared but I will always protect you.. no matter what.." the tall figure replies, lifting the girl up once more and putting her on his shoulders and he stands up.
"..now let's go back to the castle, your mother will be expecting us.." the tall figure states, turning and walking down the path.
After a moment of silence Sangria speaks once more, "Daddy?".
"Yes?" the tall figure enquired.
"Did your daddy protect you too?" Sangria asks innocently.
The tall figure thinks on his past, his smile fading once more "..."
"Daddy?" Sangria asks, tilting her head a little.
"All fathers protect their young, Sangria.. now hush.." the tall figure states, wandering down the path - Sangria once again spreading her small wings as she thinks on his words but says nothing more, soon distracted by garden birds and butterflies.